Category Archives: Rock
Albert Lee is an English guitarist known for his hybrid picking technique and rapid fire phrasing. He left school at 16 to play guitar full time and has been playing professionally ever since.
His playing credits read like a who’s who of music. Too many to list but they include Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton, and the Everly Brothers. He has also recorded a large number of solo albums under the names “Albert Lee” and “Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes”
He is known as the guitar player’s guitar player because of the presence of so many guitarists, famous or unknown, everywhere he performs. Albert Lee is also referred to as “Mr. Telecaster”. Lee has been described by his peers who include Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore, as a complete gentleman who does not know the meaning of the word ego.
His song “Country Boy”, shown in the video above, helped to redefine country guitar for a whole generation of players.
Albert Lee can be seen live touring with “Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes” at the time of writing, July 2012. If you get chance go see him play.
Vinne Moore was discovered by Mike Varney after playing professional gigs since the age of 12. His connection with Varney led to him featuring in a Pepsi advert and then releasing the albums Minds Eye and Time Odyssey on Shrapnel Records. He has since appeared on albums by Alice Copper, Vicious Rumours, and, UFO. He is currently playing for UFO who released their latest album in 2012.
Moore is known as one of the earliest “Shred” guitar players and his early albums feature a neo classical style utilising fast picking, sweeping, and, some pretty cool acoustic playing. Check out the track above for a wide selection of Moore’s techniques and also his compositional skills.
Mark Knopfler was the guitar player and singer in Dire Straits from their beginnings in 1977 to their break up in 1995, selling over 120 million albums worldwide they are one of the worlds most popular recording artists. Since 1995 Knopfler has had a successful solo career covering a diverse range of musical styles.
Mark Knopfler is left-handed, but plays right-handed, and fingerpicks instead of using a plectrum. Fingerpicking is usually associated with the acoustic guitar, but Knopfler usually (though not always) plays an electric guitar. He revealed during a French interview that he uses a pick for his rhythm work during recording sessions. He surprised the interviewer by pulling a pick out of his pocket and saying that he usually carries one. He has long favoured Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster style guitars. Fender carries a Mark Knopfler Artist Series Stratocaster. During the 1980s he came to appreciate the tone of the Gibson Les Paul and his original 1958 has been used regularly in the studio and on stage.
Paul Gilbert is one scary guitar player. Awesome technique, Phenomenal speed coupled with a strong melodic sense combine to make him one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time.
At age 15 he contacted Mike Varney, head of shrapnel records, asking for a gig with Ozzy Osborne. The gig with Ozzy did not happen but Gilbert was featured in Guitar Player magazine at age 15.
After spending three years at GIT Gilbert then joined Racer X. This is where Gilbert gained his reputation as one of the worlds fastest guitarists. Gilbert then formed the band Mr Big who had a number one hit with the acoustic tune “To be with you”. Gilbert left Mr Big in 1997 to pursue a solo career.
He continues working on solo projects as well as holding guitar clinics around the world. He is also a teacher at GIT and is well-known for his instructional videos.
Peter Green thought by many people to be the greatest British blues guitarist ever. Known for his phrasing, tone, and melodic content amongst other things.
Having played in several smaller bands he was asked to replace Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in 1966. Mike Vernon, a producer at decca, recalls Peters debut with the blues breakers.
“As the band walked in the studio I noticed an amplifier which I never saw before, so I said to John Mayall, “Where’s Eric Clapton?” Mayall answered, “He’s not with us anymore, he left us a few weeks ago.” I was in a shock of state(sic) but Mayall said, “Don’t worry, we got someone better.” I said, “Wait a minute, hang on a second, this is ridiculous. You’ve got someone better??? Than Eric Clapton???” John said, “He might not be better now, but you wait, in a couple of years he’s going to be the best. Then he introduced me to Peter Green.”
Green left in 1967 to form Fleetwood Mac and this is where he started to come to the fore as a songwriter as well as a guitar player and recorded several big hits with the band.
In 1970, whilst on tour in Germany he binged on LSD, and began a steady decline in his health resulting in him being diagnosed with schizophrenia in the mid 70’s. He left Fleetwood Mac and made sporadic appearances in the late 70’s and 80’s whilst struggling with his illness but re-emerged strongly in the late 90’s with the “Peter Green splinter group” and currently plays as “Peter Green and Friends”.
Green remains one of the most influential guitarists ever cited by Gary Moore, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry,Steve Hackett and Wishbone Ash guitarist Andy Powell amongst others as an influence. Green was The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson’s pick in Guitar World’s “30 on 30: The Greatest Guitarists Picked by the Greatest Guitarists” (2010). In the same article Robinson cites Jimmy Page, with whom the Crowes toured: “…he told us so many Peter Green stories. It was clear that Jimmy loves the man’s talent”.
Steve Vai recorded and toured in Zappa’s band for two years, from 1980 to 1982. He began a solo career in 1983, has released eight solo albums and won three Grammy Awards. He has also recorded and toured with Public Image Ltd., Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. Vai has been a regular touring member of the G3 Concert Tour which began in 1996. One of the greatest ever guitarists with a seemingly total mastery of the instrument and command of music theory and composition. A great example to other guitar players of the benefits of practice and total dedication Steve Vai is known for his long practice routines including his legendary 10 hour guitar workout. Also famous for his connections with Ibanez guitars, his Jem series is one of the most sought after and popular signature guitars ever produced.
Randy Rhoads was most famous for being Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist on the albums “Blizzard of Oz” and “Diary of a madman”, Ozzy’s first albums since splitting with Black Sabbath. Randy played guitar for the band “Quiet Riot” before joining Ozzy’s band and was also a dedicated classical guitar player and would seek out classical guitar lessons whilst on tour. Randy was one of the first “schooled” rock guitarists and had a deep knowledge of music theory, composition, and guitar techniques. This coupled with his natural musicality combined to make him one of the greatest guitarists ever. Randy was tragically killed in a plane crash on March 19, 1982. In 1987 Ozzy released “Tribute” a live recording of Ozzy and Randy in concert plus some studio out-takes. Have a listen to the clip above to hear Randy playing both in a classical style and also some great lead guitar. The solo at around 2 mins 40 secs is a masterpiece. Enjoy.